Vigilantes have reportedly killed no less than 16 bandits in the Bangalala town of Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State.
Bandits had reportedly occupied the town after threatening its people to vacate.
The vigilantes, Daily Trust reported, mobilized and confronted the bandits on Saturday, July 30, 2022 night.
Two of the vigilantes died in the battle.
Bangalala town is located about 100 kilometres from Wase, the local government headquarters.
But the police have said the vigilantes did not consult any security agency before launching the attack.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Alfred Alabo, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said the vigilantes might have committed murder with the attack.
Alabo said, “We have the FOB Commander from the STF within that axis. We have a DPO in that place. We have a local government chairman in that place. We have the DSS there.
“How come they killed, or did they murder, 16 people? How come the vigilantes would kill 16 people and would not make a report? Those vigilantes need to be arrested. They did not tell the police authority that is within the local government area, and they published it in the newspaper that the vigilantes killed.
“Who went with them for the killing? From the way I’m responding, you can see that we have not seen anything.”
He promised to investigate the matter.
He also said, “If you fight bandits and recover exhibits, is it not a good thing? Then, you report it to the police. If you don’t want to report it to the police, you report it to Operation Save Haven that is there, or the DSS that is there.
“You can report it to the Civil Defence or the Nigerian Customs Service represented there. Why will you leave all the government agencies and go to the newspaper to publish?”
He said he had a contact with the local government chairman and traditional leaders in the area who should brief him on such a development.
The ICIR reports that Plateau State has experienced recurring crises, mainly between the locals and herders in recent years, with the most recent having the highest casualties being the over 100 people reportedly killed in April in Kanam and Wase local government areas.
In October 2021, this newspaper reported the multi-dimensional nature of the crises and how different panels set up by the Nigerian government had made recommendations that were never implemented.